Volume 7, Issue 8, page 6
This morning you did feel like getting
on with the experiment. If all went well,
it wouldn't be an experiment this time
tomorrow morning; it would be a way of
life. In my place You could adapt, you
said to Jesus, silently in your heart, so
I can at least try to adapt myself to my
day as You would in my place.
You had no intention of being sanctimonious about it. You wouldn't try to reform anybody. No. That would be sitting
in judgment. You didn't know anybody else,
however close to you as a friend, neighbor, or relative, well enough to tell
that one the proper way to conduct himself, herself? Your face wouldn't take on
a glow, as Moses' had when he came down
from Sinai with the tablets of The Law.
You wouldn't be self-righteous. As you
understood it, from what little you had
read of Jesus, He hadn't been self-righteous. If He had been, He would have been
more like the scribes and Pharisees; He
wouldn't, for instance, have associated
with publicans and sinners. He wouldn't
have so conducted Himself as to be called
a winebibber. Actually, He must have been
a pretty regular sort of fellow, with a
flaming determination to show man, and
woman, how to live and get the most out
of life. Not only did He start as a carpenter, but He mingled freely with all
walks of life. He required money, else
Judas would have had no bag to carry. He
withdrew to fast occasionally, spending
40 days alone in some desert place. That
didn't make Him a hermit, a recluse, an
ascetic. He hadn't saved, or sought to
save, the world by running away from it.
"No," you said to The Picture, "You
put Your nose right to the grindstone.
You faced the days, each of them, head on.
Okay, I'll try it! If you give me a hand."
You were a little abashed for a moment,
speaking so forthrightly to Him, but even
just looking at The Picture you felt that
He wasn't offended in any way. Peter had
spoken right out to Him in the flesh, and
Peter had been a pretty sturdy, roughhewn character. Judas had been closely
associated with Him, and He must have
known that Judas wasn't all that even a
good publican or sinner should be. Put it
that way and you brought Him closer, made
the experiment seem more possible of success.
You turned away, feeling warmer inside,
and headed for the bathroom. You didn't
know for sure whether they had bathrooms
in His time, but if they had, they were
certainly different. Matter of fact, except for the baptism of John, you couldn't
remember where, anybody in the New Testament had bathed. Jesus and His disciples
"ate with unwashen hands", you remembered.
It probably had something to do with Hebrew ritual of some sort. You could never
think of Jesus as being at any time " unwashen". Still, carpenters must have got(~!I'~J~ .,